Can I book direct with the Hawkes Bay express tour company?

No, unfortunately all our tours are managed by the cruise ships themselves. Please book through the cruise ships website or via their shore excursions team.

I am concerned that my tour finishes close to the boarding time for my ship, should I worry?

By booking through the cruise ships shore excursions team the ship will wait for you should there be any delays. In 10 years our tours have never required a cruise ship to wait and we have backup plans to get you back to your ship on time if they are ever needed.

How much walking is there on tour?

There is less than 100m (330 feet) of walking needed on tour and seating is provided at any stops.

I have difficulty with steps, is that an issue on tour?

The tour vehicle lowers down when boarding passengers so it is a single step of 200mm (8 inches) to board and there will be two keen staff per tour there to aid you if needed. There are no stairs at any of the tour stops.

Are there allocated seats?

No it is on a first come basis, it can pay to turn up a bit early to have plenty of seat choice.

Can I hope off in town after the tour?

Yes you have the option to hop off in town at the conclusion of the tour for a bit of retail therapy or stay aboard for a few more minutes to be returned directly to your ship. There is a free shuttle returning passengers to their ship if they do hop of in the city after the tour.

Is there an opportunity to do some shopping on tour?

Unfortunately not however the tour itself does provide a great way to see what retail there is in the city as the train navigates the main shopping streets that coaches cannot so you know exactly where to go back to after the tour.

What do I wear on tour?

Please dress as you would if going for a short relaxed walk outside and depending on the weather of the day. Please include comfortable shoes, jacket if cold and sun block/sun glasses for summer days. There is less than 100m (330 feet) of walking needed on tour nevertheless best to dress to match the day.

Lost and found

If you leave anything behind please just contact us and we will do our best to find it and reunite you with your lost possession.

I sometimes require assistance on tours to stand, walk or sit, will any assistance be available?

Yes, every tour has at least two staff members purely there to help with any issues including wheelchairs and walkers or those who just need a bit of a hand. Please note the train can only accommodate non electric wheel chairs and passengers need to be able to move to a seat on board.

If I require a walker or wheel chair can I still take the tour?

Yes, as long as you can stand (Aided is fine) and move to one of the carriage seats. Our staff will then stow your walker or wheel chair away while touring and bring it to you at the tour stop(s).

Are their toilets available during the tour?

Yes, while we do not have toilets on board the train there is a tour stop about half way on the tour with toilets (Clean) and at the conclusion of the tour public toilets are available just 100m (330 feet) from the city drop off point or back at the ship.

How long are the tours?

The standard tour for cruise ships is about 80 minutes to the tour drop off point in the city or 90 minutes dock to dock for those wanting to return to the ship.

I am not booked through the cruise ships shore excursion programme; can I still come on a tour?

Unfortunately not, our tours are booked out by the cruise ships for their exclusive use. We did at one time do independent tours but as our reputation has grown cruise ships have requested so many tours we do not have the capacity to do other tours.

What precautions are in place for COVID?

The owners take COVID seriously and have multiple strategies in place to complement the cruise ships procedures. All door handles and common touch points are cleaned daily. There are 28 large opening windows on board which allow for air circulation similar to being outside. All staff are fully vaccinated.